Small Unit Tactics contact patriot-dawn Patriot Rising

Winter Warfare

This topic contains 146 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of First Sergeant First Sergeant 1 year ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 61 through 90 (of 147 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #54109
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    A long time ago I wrote a post on the old blog about using poor weather. The flip side of weather considerations is how you stack up against the enemy. If you can rise above weather considerations through a combination of planning, training, gear and morale, then you may be able to gain an advantage over an enemy.

    Some additional thoughts:

    Additional thoughts on Weather and Terrain:

    Avalanche areas make great defenses, with some appropriate study avalanche areas can be groomed to increase effect.

    Areas prone to mudslides when supersaturated can be manipulated, water doesn’t compress.

    Flash flood zones can be historically predicted.

    Wind and rain mask sound, hooded OPFOR reduce sight and hearing even more.

    Weather considerations UAS (FMI 3-04.155):

    Weather conditions must be at or above those minimums prescribed for specific AOR‘s. The appropriate authority can waive these requirements.

    Weather/ UAS/ UAS Sensors
    Icing/ No deicing/anti-icing capability/ N/A
    Crosswinds greater than 15 kts/ Exceeds operational capabilities/ N/A
    High winds at altitude greater than 50 kts/ Creates dangerous flying conditions/ N/A
    Light rain/ UAS can operate/ N/A
    Heavy rain 2 inches or more per hour/ UAS cannot operate/ Poor, unusable imagery
    Fog and low clouds/ UAS can operate, but increases the risk to the UA during takeoffs/landings/ Cannot Penetrate heavy fog/clouds

    #54114
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Hoods are a big thing. People just don’t know. I see people in hoods all the time. Even First Spear is advertising a windcheater with cool guy photos with the hood up.

    Yes, windproof smocks have hoods but you are not allowed to use them!

    Hoods will cut down your hearing and peripherals and should not be used at any time you are on patrol or sentry or other similar task that requires being alert.

    #54115
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Training and Morale.

    If it is raining, a helmet will keep your head dry :good:

    #54118
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Ain’t nobody gonna like this one………

    The large intestine’s primary job is to reabsorb water. If you’re not drinking enough as you should, you are predisposing yourself to constipation. When you feel the urge to evacuate the bowels and you ignore it, the feces stays and continues to have water extracted. In about 20-30 minutes, you’ll feel the urge to evacuate again, only less so this time. Ignore it and the urge goes away again. Repeat every 20-30 minutes for 2-4 times, then just no urge. All the while that crap is locked up inside having the water removed. Are you starting to get a picture??

    That is probably why it took me a half hour to crap when I returned from SERE school and had a ham sandwich. Despite having to go really bad. I was literally plugged up.

    #54119
    Profile photo of JohnnyMac
    JohnnyMac
    Participant

    Great stuff!

    Research has led me to reading up on the Winter War, where the Finns used winter weather and terrain to huge effect against the ill prepared Soviets.

    A good read for anyone interested http://www.winterwar.com/Tactics/mottis.htm

    #54121
    Profile photo of wheelsee
    wheelsee
    Participant

    That is probably why it took me a half hour to crap when I returned from SERE school and had a ham sandwich. Despite having to go really bad. I was literally plugged up.

    To keep this thread on track and for everyone to keep their lunch down, PM and I’ll tell you how to get “unplugged”……

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #54131
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    LOL

    #54138
    Profile photo of Dark Knight Scott
    Scott G
    Participant

    Even in daily life, the cold weather cuts down on most peoples situational awareness. A little cold and wind and the people walk with their faces to the ground and their head wrapped in hats, scarves, ear muffs, etc.
    I see it everyday on the streets in DC, people practically walking into each other. This makes each person and all of us as a whole more of a soft target. You cant see the threat if you aren’t looking.
    It only get multiplied if you add in some form of precipitation, then the monotony of stand watch or guard duty in a tactical environment.

    On a side note, I wonder how many cases of frostbite will occur on NYE in NYC. The temps are supposed to be in the teens and folks will be stuck standing in those pens for hours and I am sure many will not dress properly, especially regarding footwear.

    Happy New Year to all!!!

    Northern VA Area

    CRCD #1 Alumnus

    #54147
    Profile photo of RobRoy
    RobRoy
    Participant

    George Washington used the weather and the holiday to put a whoopin on you know who when he crossed the Delaware river. That Fischer guy wrote a great book about a great real American hero dealing with that.

    #54148
    Profile photo of wheelsee
    wheelsee
    Participant

    On a side note, I wonder how many cases of frostbite will occur on NYE in NYC. The temps are supposed to be in the teens and folks will be stuck standing in those pens for hours and I am sure many will not dress properly, especially regarding footwear.

    Happy New Year to all!!!

    Don’t make the mistake of looking at temperatures (above freezing, below freezing). ANY time the temperature is below body temperature, there can be problems (see link at bottom), but generally 60 F (air temp) is considered a reasonable cutoff (see here for more info https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/exposure-to-cold-do-to-body#1 )

    The most common environmental temperature I see problems with is in the 40s. Colder and people know to bundle up. The elderly already have a problem with thermoregulation, through various diseases (diabetes, Peripheral vascular disease, dementia, etc), and medications (https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/hypothermia-cold-weather-risk-older-people ). Street people are also at risk, I strongly encourage to have a dedicated person in charge of feet checks (see Max’s post above), this is one of the things we check for in the ED – the body looks good, but the feet have trenchfoot (cold and wet) or frostbite which are treated as burns (cold burn).

    Bottom line – ANYTIME the air temp is below 60F, bad juju can happen (cold injuries) if you’re not looking for it. Also remember that 70F water temp is like standing butt-naked in 40F air (water absorbs, conducts, heat 25x faster than air).

    More info https://www.princeton.edu/~oa/safety/hypocold.shtml

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #54149
    Profile photo of The Prof
    The Prof
    Participant

    Something I and some friends discovered while practicing advance and retreat sprints (“I’m up, he sees me, I’m down”) in about 15 degree weather in a stiff wind, was that we were OK standing around, and even kneeling in snow firing at targets. But once we started the sudden bursts of activity, apparently our blood went in to our cores, and our fingers almost instantly turned so cold and stiff and numb that it was dangerous to continue.

    I was quite startled by this–which affected most or all of us–and consulted some PT/sports medicine people I know, who agreed that this was what had happened, and said it was not unreasonable to expect.

    Something to think about. It pretty much rendered us unable to function, at least safely.

    (And yes, we had fairly decent clothing and gloves on, so that wasn’t the issue. Despite that, our hands and fingers turned into useless clubs once we started the sudden violent activity.)

    #54150
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    Do you have a recommendation for winter warfare gloves?

    And what are other members using & what results have you experienced?

    @farmer – For dry cold temps I use the Intermediate Cold Flyers Glove. They were designed for chopper pilots, so you have some dexterity. I have used them down into the teens and had no issues. The biggest issue is they are not waterproof, so you have to take that into consideration. One way to avoid that issue is to have two pair of them. Wear one and put the wet pair inside of what you are wearing so your body heat dries them. You can do the same thing with wet socks.
    fortbraggsurplus.us/Intermediate-Cold-Flyers-Glove-HAU-15P-p/flyers-glove.htm

    I have also used a thin pair of poly pro glove liners under the cold weather gloves. Gives a little more warmth and if you have to take your gloves off, you don’t have to touch anything with your bear hands.
    amazon.com/Black-GI-Polypropylene-Glove-Liners/dp/B000HKPFS0

    For colder temps, you still can’t beat mittens. They are the best for keeping your hands warm. I still use the GI trigger finger mittens, cause they work. If you get a set, make sure you get two pair of liners. For the same reason I talked about above, one can be drying while you wear the other pair.

    Outdoor Research has the new version of the trigger finger mittens. They developed them for the military.

    One thing that is very important when it comes to gloves, get the right size. If they don’t fit right, they wont work like they are supposed to.

    Using gloves while manipulating your rifle is something you have to practice with. Be it regular gloves or trigger finger mittens. You also need to look at your trigger guard. The standard one one on AR’s is hinged for cold weather work. I use the Magpul Enhanced Trigger Guard. Gives you more room with gloves.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #54157
    Profile photo of Roadkill
    Roadkill
    Participant

    A little adrenaline dump while doing these winter maneuvers could cause some vasoconstriction that even good gloves won’t cure. Keep wearing or get good equipment and continue periodic training as you can and are doing; can’t function go warm up, start over.Hopefully as you become stress inoculated you will have less of a stress reaction and be able to function better. Continue good pt program, as that helps too. Also spending more time in the cold will help you become more cold tolerant, or acclimated as some might say.

    RS/CTT Nov 16
    HEAT1 Aug18

    #54162
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Somebody mentioned that stainless steel barrels have issues in very cold weather (versus mil spec chrome lined I assume)

    Any further info on that?

    #54196
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    New Year’s Eve. Advance to Contact and Assault Through drills on the new target pit array we dug on Tac Range 1. We did another array on Tac Range 2, so for the assault through drills it will be against an enemy position wiyh 6 x pop up target pits, and mannikins. The stick in squad attach targets are going away, and will be replaced by pop up target pits.

    This was 10 degree weather. SLIP 2000 works really well. Not sure what people are referencing in this thread, but we were fire and maneuvering up the valley fine.

    #54197
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    New target pit array on tax range 1. This is where we do day 1 on the tactical ranges, where we fight up the valley. We used the existing first 2 target pits as the basis for this simulated enemy position.

    #54198
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Work never stops at the VTC. I could not get the backhoe in action, so we dug 8 x target pits for these new arrays on tac range 1 & 2. The stick-in squad attack area up on the hill on tac range 2 is going away and will be replaced by target pits yet to be dug. We will also dig target pits up on the raid site, to replace many of the stick in’s up at the raid base.

    The squad attack and raid sites are used on HEAT 2, as part of attack day (formerly combat patrol).

    If you have not recently trained at the VTC, both TTPs and the facility are evolving and improving. If you did one CRCD back in the day, you are a dinosaur and need to come back to train. Your CRCD will no longer suffice for HEAT 2.

    Texas classes incorporate all these new TTP advances for HEAT 1, and we do have spaces on the first 6 day package. We use a different mobile target set up, but it works very well.

    #54203
    Profile photo of Lloyd
    shooter
    Participant

    I have not read this entire thread, so forgive me if I am restating some of what had already been said.

    First, my perspective is from 4 years guiding elk hunts in a Wilderness Area in Idaho, not military…

    Water – We used to carry canteens in saddlebags which were heated by the bodies of horses/mules, so they wouldn’t freeze. If we parked the critters and hunted on foot, we’d stuff a canteen down the front of our jacket to keep it from freezing, or at least make sure it was packed in the daypack so that it was close to our body. Hydration packs were not yet invented, but I would think the tube would freeze up, even if the water in the bladder was liquid.

    Weapon lube – YES, some liquid lube will turn into near-solid grease in cold temps – almost like wax. Plan for it. Test it! All of my hunters used bolt-action rifles, but I carried a revolver, and either one could be locked up if the wrong lube, or condensation got in there…

    Speaking of condensation – Your breath, your body heat, moving weapon from warm to cold (inside/outside) will cause condensation that will freeze solid and wreak havoc in all sorts of ways a warm weather person wouldn’t expect. I have seen ice form inside of my tent, inside of my boots, inside of shitty “rain gear”, on optics, in firearms, on my nosehairs, etc.

    Layers on, layers off – The best layering system I found was long johns, fleece or a couple of layers thereof, then a “shell” and/or “poofy jacket”. You are humping up a ridge, you have your shell and poofy jacket stuffed into or tied onto your pack. You get to the top and want to stop and glass for critters, you put on the poofy jacket. the “shell” is just used for stopping water/snow or breaking the wind. No matter what the sales-pitch says, if it stops water from the outside, it will also stop water/condensation from leaving the inside, so use the “shell” with caution.

    Fingers and toes – I am a victim of frostbit toes, so I am a big believer in insulated footwear! Post-frostbite-screwup, I wore boots that had both built-in insulation and a removable liner, AND heavy wool socks. If anything, buy the boots a half or full size too big so there’s wiggle room for your toes and plenty of circulation and dead air space for warmth! For my hands, I wore thin wool or fleece gloves with oversized heavy insulated mittens over the gloves. That way I could wiggle my fingers and had some dead air space in there, and then could take off the mittens for tasks that required dexterity… Not sure how to translate that into “ready trigger finger on patrol”, other than the drop-down trigger guard “winter trigger” adaptation that AR/M16 system has.

    Head/face – When it’s REALLY cold, your breath will condense and freeze almost immediately – ice balls on your nosehairs. We would wear wool or fleece stocking-type hats pulled down over our ears, and a loose wool scarf around our face to pre-warm air going in and out. You suck a big lungful of air at 20 below, and you’re likely to freeze tissues/membranes inside your throat, sinuses, and maybe your lungs!

    ---

    We are all victims of our perspective.

    #54204
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Shooter’s post was listed as spam, happens sometimes. Fixed it.

    #54207
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    I spoke with one winter instructor who said that he liked ponchos because any trapped air that turned to ice would just slide down to the ground. So he got wind and moisture protection when needed but didn’t suffer the gore-tex ice freeze that many get when it is too cold for the air to exit the gore-tex membrane.

    Another one told me that he sometimes wears light weight gore-tex pants UNDER his regular pants. That would protect the rain paints from tears, and would also warm up the membrane in the cold to keep acting as it was designed.

    I have not tried either. Just reporting something I was told from a winter guy.

    PS: I am doing a water bottle in the freezer test right now with several types of water bottles, canteens, insulated and insulated. Will post the results.

    #54211
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    You just have to know/learn the extremes of your AO and get out there in it.

    For training have a escape plan if something goes wrong, but nothing is better than real experience.

    As stated before, I’ve done honest -65°F (actual not wind chill) above the Arctic Circle. Once you get to -20°F every decrease by 20°F is an huge difference that has to be experienced to truly appreciate.

    Done properly after the third day you get used to it.

    Each environment has challenges, but once you learn it just becomes the new norm.

    Don’t take it serious and you’ll die at worst, at best you’ll be maimed.

    Remember too it isn’t a gear thing, it’s knowledge. Sure there is some convenience with the right gear, but people have been operating in extreme cold long before the “Gucci” gear existed.

    #54213
    Profile photo of Lloyd
    shooter
    Participant

    Damn, 65 below… ouch! Coldest I ever worked in was about 20 below, and that was more than plenty!

    Remember too it isn’t a gear thing, it’s knowledge. Sure there is some convenience with the right gear, but people have been operating in extreme cold long before the “Gucci” gear existed.

    Interesting video – everything here fits what I learned.

    ---

    We are all victims of our perspective.

    #54217
    Profile photo of Roadkill
    Roadkill
    Participant

    I’ve worked in minus degree weather, never overnight, but my day work. Very cold. What’s weird is when it warms up to the mid teens it feels like a heat wave. Literally able to work in a sweatshirt.

    RS/CTT Nov 16
    HEAT1 Aug18

    #54222
    Profile photo of Mike Q
    Mike Q
    Participant

    So a few of us were up at the VTC over the weekend. Temperature on Saturday was 18 degrees. Temperature on Sunday was 18 degrees. Overnight low was at 6 degrees when we woke up on Sunday morning. Also it snowed about 3/4″ while were we driving in. Nice dry powder.

    Saturday we were kept warm by the physical exertion we were doing. Also drinking hot drinks and heating hot food for each meal was a must.

    Saturday night we stayed in the team room. No electricity, no insulation, but a propane radiant heater going all night. The temperature in the team room when we woke up was around 8 to 10 degrees. We even hung tarps to make the room smaller to try and retain some heat. We will have HVAC and insulation in the team room in the next few months.

    I slept on a cot with a 3″ memory foam pad, summer bag, winter bag, bivy sack, and a comforter over all of that. I slept in thick smartwool socks with alpaca socks overtop, sleep pants, level 2 shirt, and a skullcap. I was warm except for my toes. Getting up three times to piss – not so much fun…

    Two of the other guys could not stay warm – lack of proper padding. They lost their heat through the bottom of their therm-a-rests.

    We weren’t trying to be tactical for sleeping overnight – clearly. I.e. cots, 3″ memory foam pad, full sized pillows, propane heaters…

    You MUST go out and try moving and sleeping in this weather so you know what you personally must do in order to stay warm. I’m always cold and therefore need more insulation then other people. I knew that and therefore brought all of the extra sleeping gear listed above. The heated drinks and heated food was also a must for me.

    The nice dry powder overtop of several years of leaves turns the mountain side into a giant slip & slide. I totally ate it on one of the iterations against the evil Ivan! Luckily my finger was out of the trigger guard and the weapon was on safe – per VTC safety rules.

    Also I’ve been running steel cased ammunition my whole time at the VTC without ever an issue – until this weekend. I had multiple failure to feeds and double feeds. Max was thrilled in his justification of his hate for steel cased ammo. So be aware steel cased ammo will NOT feed reliably in single digit temperatures. Now all of my steel cased ammo will be for Spring, Summer, and Autumn use only.

    So a few lessons learned from this little exercise. Take what you can from this post.

    There never seems to be enough time to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it twice.

    CRM Sept. 2014, CTT 1505, CTT July 2015, RC-Rifleman 1502, CP Nov. 2015, FoF March 2016, CCW May 2016, FoF Oct. 2016, FoF Nov. 2016, CLC April 2017, FoF Nov. 2017, Alumni weekend Aug. 2018, CQB Dec. 2018

    #54223
    Profile photo of SeanT
    SeanT
    Moderator

    This was 10 degree weather. SLIP 2000 works really well.

    I had EWL, no issues and it was 6 when we woke up and rifles were in the cold all night, not that it was very warm inside!

    #54224
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    You MUST go out and try moving and sleeping in this weather so you know what you personally must do in order to stay warm. I’m always cold and therefore need more insulation then other people. I knew that and therefore brought all of the extra sleeping gear listed above. The heated drinks and heated food was also a must for me.

    Quoted for emphasis!

    Also I’ve been running steel cased ammunition my whole time at the VTC without ever an issue – until this weekend.

    This is an important discovery that can only be found through realistic training.

    Do you want to discover this when it’s the real deal?

    #54225
    Profile photo of SeanT
    SeanT
    Moderator

    To add to Mikes post a little. Closed cell foam pads are better in the really cold vs the open cell. I forgot either one so I improvised by putting extra clothing under me outside the bag. I didn’t really get cold until after the second whiz excursion about 0500 and by 0600 I was shivering so into the truck I went to get warm. After eating a hot breakfast and some hot coffee, all was good. I burn my calories pretty fast and I think I just ran out of fuel. I also don’t have a lot of fat as insulation or reserve fuel. I did stay hydrated and that is just a normal habit for me no matter what the weather. Feet were mostly fine with wool socks X2 and nothing fancy leather boots. It was so cold the snow did not melt on my boots and make them wet but that could have been an issue.
    Boot soles were so frozen hard that any traction on the ‘slip and slide’ was pretty difficult. I was 4 man in the patrol so up to the right I went…..my down hill knee took a lot of extra strain I noticed, more than usual. I didn’t get injured but I feel the extra strain.

    Butane stoves don’t like that cold so remember to keep your fuel can close so you can body heat warm it so you can have fire when you want it or NEED it.

    As 1st Sergeant advised, the drink tube on my hydration bladder did freeze, the blowing back trick seemed to work after I thawed it. I was NOT relying on that bladder for my water so it was no big deal but it could have been.

    For the record, mechanix gloves are fine if you are digging holes, not so fine standing in the wind trying to survey the windy top of a mountain.

    #54227
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Leaves: the control burn program for the VTC is not complete, and will be completed once weather allows. With no classes till March, leaves should not be an issue.

    Steel case: oh, how I laughed, and laughed, and was overjoyed! :yahoo:

    #54228
    Profile photo of batsoff
    batsoff
    Participant

    Two of the other guys could not stay warm – lack of proper padding. They lost their heat through the bottom of their therm-a-rests.

    … and I’m one of those guys.

    Being warm inside the sleeping bags (patrol, winter, bivy) was not an issue. I was wearing silks, thermals, hat, gloves, and wool socks. But as the night progressed, I could feel the warmth being pulled out of my body from underneath my cot.

    I slept on a cot with a Thermarest Trail Pro mattress inside bivy (under the sleeping bags), but the Thermarest was just not thick enough for me to prevent heat loss. I even added an extra thermal layer at one point in the night, but that only worked for about 20mins before I could feel the heat loss again. It just felt like I was laying on cold concrete all night.

    Note to self… need a better mattress option when sleeping out in very cold weather. Might have to look at the memory foam that MikeQ uses.

    -batsoff

    #54230
    Profile photo of JohnnyMac
    JohnnyMac
    Participant

    need a better mattress option when sleeping out in very cold weather.

    This might help with choosing another one, it lists R-values and weight for almost all sleeping pads:
    https://sectionhiker.com/sleeping-pad-r-values/

Viewing 30 posts - 61 through 90 (of 147 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.